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The Good Fight: Declare Your Independence and Close the Democracy Gap Paperback – July 5, 2005

3.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The old analogy of apples and oranges, long used to describe things that are completely different, has been rejected by some due to the fact that apples and oranges are, scientifically speaking, extremely similar. For longtime activist, author, and occasional political candidate Ralph Nader, the Democratic and Republican parties, like apples and oranges, may offer different packaging, but are the same on the inside. In The Good Fight, Nader attacks both for their complicity in corporate America's attempts to solidify their power and wealth at the expense of the average citizen's health, job, food, environment and economic future. Still, Nader says, the biggest threat facing regular people comes from inside. "Our lack of civic motivation," he writes, "is the biggest problem facing our country today." And with that in mind, he offers a guide to the powerful institutions at work in the world as well as some advice on how to affect change. Having worked as a civic crusader for so long, Nader is able to present his indictments clearly and is especially compelling when telling the stories of common people who lose their livelihoods and sometimes their lives to corporate profiteering and who then often lose again when they or their families seek redress from a corrupt system where the politicians are in bed with the executives. Some Democrats have accused Nader of taking votes away from their candidates and handing the 2000 election to George W. Bush. Political junkies looking for counter-arguments are mostly out of luck here (John Kerry is mentioned once, Al Gore not at all, and no mention is made of any ambition to elected office) but it becomes clear in reading The Good Fight that Ralph Nader's political career is all about clearly communicating his message. And on that front, he is highly successful. --John Moe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ralph Nader was recently named by the Atlantic as one of the 100 most influential figures in American history, one of only four living people to be so honored. The son of immigrants from Lebanon, he has launched two major presidential campaigns and founded or organized more than one hundred civic organizations. His groups have made an impact on tax reform, atomic power regulation, the tobacco industry, clean air and water, food safety, access to health care, civil rights, congressional ethics, and much more.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (July 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060779551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060779559
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,116,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. J. SELL on August 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Once again Ralph Nader steps up to the plate that few others will approach. In "The Good Fight" Nader again challenges the status quo, voter apathy, and citizens who have forgotten that THEY run the USA, not corporate interests. As with his previous books, Nader presents an unnerving mix of dispair and hope. He awakens the reader with the progressive view of the problems with America. Such claims of corporate corruption of politics, disregard for human rights, dwindling consumer rights, a failed health care system, and wanton destruction of the environment assail the reader and provoke a sense of hopelessness. But then just as quickly, Nader offers insight, strategy, encouragement, and hope to turn things around and put the PEOPLE back in DEMOCRACY.

Neither a Republican nor a Democrat (difficult for some people to comprehend), Nader points out the shortcomings of both parties and how they have both surrendered to corporate interests. Corporations donate millions of dollars to candidates. Upon election the candidates subsequently act in the interest of their corporate donors, not in the interest of thier constituency. Corporations with no allegiance to the USA then expand their rights, while all-too-often weakening the rights of the people. With so many people obsessed with hot-button issues, they fail to see this undermining of democracy at a fundamental level.

"We are a nation of, by, and for the people, not corporations."

Regardless of your partisanship, I recommend this book as a superb eye-opener. If it fails to provoke constructive thought, clear your mind of political bias and read it again. Since completing this book (as well as previous Nader books) I have passed it on to friends and family across the political spectrum. All have agreed that at the very least, it will make you think twice about what you think you know.
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Format: Hardcover
Anyone whose intuition is telling them that "things aren't quite right" in the governence of our democracy, I totally recommend this read. The Democrats like to project their party as the Party of the People, but my own experience is that doesn't jive anymore, but I couldn't put it into words. Nader's book was quite helpful in beginning to see that the Democrats & Republicans are more concerned with winning and maintaining power than addressing the pressing needs of the country. I found myself sad at certain passages, realizing that we Americans are losing our capacity for self-governence, and the political class is quite willing to hurt average folks if it means re-election for them and $$ for their corporate friends. Nader's book, as well as his campaign, is shedding light on some ugly facts about our two-party system. After reading the book, I find current news events more alarming, especially how the Democrats are subverting democracy by keeping him off the ballot and away from the voters. Republicans, in a public display of inconfidence in Pres Bush, are also guilty of gaming the ballot access laws. Both parties refuse to acknowledge that their are 10s of millions of Independents and non-voters who no longer support them or their practices. The most alarming realization is this: The Democrats & Republicans are failing the American people in huge ways and causing a lot of human pain, and yet they will not yield to any grassroots solutions. Nader is quite eloquent on this point: any solution to the Nation's problems outside of the two-party framework will *not* be considered. It dawned on me how limited our options have become if we continue to invest all our energy in participating in this endless two-party fight.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I expected this to be a book about HIS 'good fight' and was somewhat surprised that it was his challenge to ME. To me to be a good citizen and put up a good fight - a fight for justice, fairness, open debates, free elections for third parties...maybe with instant runoff voting. Most candidates are always saying vote for me, vote for me ... but he doesn't do that. This isn't a one-campaign book.
I have been active in civic affairs before but not with his perspective. The book gave me much to think about.
One thing I wish he had spoken about is how his theme song "If You Gotta Ask" got written and what his connection is with Liquid Blue but he seldom talks much about himself. ("Man, if you gotta ask you'll never know." -- Louis Armstrong) Nader certainly has the best theme song of the campaign. I purchased the album "Super Nova" a few months ago and would recommend it. Lyrics and samples are at
[...]
I'm eagerly waiting for Nader's book "In Pursuit of Justice" due out soon.
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Format: Hardcover
I think the biggest thing to come away with from this book, is that we need to fight back as every day citizens, and if we choose not to concern ourselves with the process of democracy, we will continue to lose it. We need to be involved, discuss citizenship with our children over the dinner table, and take active steps as patriots to ensure we have a democracy. We have been hijacked by our own corporate CEO's and politicians for over 40 years. We are powerless to the corporate greed that infiltrates every aspect of our lives, from our heath, our standard of living, even our sexuality. And we are all to blame for being way to complacent. Democracy is not a spectator sport. If you don't fight for it daily, you will not have it. The internet is a tool to bypass biased media and put power in the hands of the average person...if they choose to use it.
Admittedly, I did not know much about Ralph Nader when I voted for Gore in 2000 and blamed him for Gore losing to some extent. I realize now, that is another corporate lie. In checking the FEC.GOV elections results for 2000 and comparing them with MSNBC exit polls, it turns out the Democrats caused Bush to win by voting for him...8 million of them. Clinton's own moving the party more toward corporate ownership and less for the people was part of this. When you talk to the average voter whether republican, democrat, or other, they all seem to agree on wanting more value focus in our America and less corruption. Ralph Nader has led a life against corruption. If ever there was an advocate for the people it is Mr. Nader.
I don't know if the American public is smart enough to get involved and/or to vote for Nader. Maybe the decades of brainwashing from the media and corporate elite have turned us into the George Orwellian 1984.
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